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Beaverbrook Art Gallery

703 Queen Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2009/10/26

Beaverbrook Art Gallery, view of the front façade; City of Fredericton
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Image of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery showing west wing and central entrance; City of Fredericton
Beaverbrook Art Gallery
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1958/01/01 to 1959/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/05/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, a single-storey structure built of glazed brick, granite and limestone, was designed by Fredericton architect, Neil M. Stewart. The modern structure of functional design is situated on the north side of Queen Street opposite the Provincial Legislature in Fredericton.

Heritage Value

When the Beaverbrook Art Gallery was completed in 1959, it immediately became a cultural icon both locally and in the Atlantic region. This was the first art gallery established in the eastern provinces, and the opening in September 1959 attracted art experts, political dignitaries, and more than three thousand spectators. Visitors were drawn as much to the art of the interior as to the design of the exterior.

Lord Beaverbrook conceived the idea of a provincial gallery as early as 1955, and the site for the gallery had originally been situated in Officers’ Square at the corner of Regent and Queen streets. Lord Beaverbrook hired provincial architect D. W. Jonsson to prepare the preliminary sketches of the building. The location for the proposed gallery had been shifted to “The Green” opposite the Provincial Legislative Building. Jonsson was later succeeded by Fredericton architect, Neil M. Stewart.

Stewart designed the gallery to reflect function over form. It was considered imperative that an art gallery provide ample wall space and lighting, and Stewart achieved both of these goals in the design of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. When it opened, the gallery received high praise for its modern, functional appearance and the interior arrangements allowing for superior art displays. A central gallery was flanked by side galleries, with the left wing being devoted to Canadian collections and the one at the right for the display of British collections. D. W. Jonsson commented that the Beaverbrook Art Gallery incorporated the most recent innovations in art gallery architecture. Jonsson was particularly impressed with the lighting of the gallery, which included both natural and artificial sources. The structure expanded decades later with the east and west wings being added in October 1983. The Marion McCain Atlantic Gallery opened in May 1995.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is one of many architectural legacies left by Lord Beaverbrook, Fredericton’s greatest cultural benefactor. In December 1994, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery was officially recognized as the Provincial Art Gallery of New Brunswick.

Source: City of Fredericton, Local Historic Places Files

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements associated with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery include:
- single-storey glazed brick structure;
- its location along “The Green” in view of the Saint John River and across from the Provincial Legislature;
- simple, clean-lined structure with flat roof;
- white marble cornices and granite base;
- minimal fenestration;
- addition of east and west wings, reflecting design style of original structure;
- interior gallery spaces ideally designed for art display;
- identity as a cultural focal point.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Local Historic Places Program

Recognition Type

Municipal Register of Local Historic Places

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer

Neil M. Stewart



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Fredericton, Local Historic Places Files, "703 Queen Street"

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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